by Joel Rich
After the Baby Boomers” Robert Wuthnow
“A majority of young adults still consider religion relevant to their lives and believe they could depend on a congregation if the chips were down. Meanwhile, though, they are increasingly busy elsewhere and their behavior is thus less subject to influences of any religious organization”.
Note-young adult<30 or so!
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Curious – Ian Leslie
But IQ is far from the sole determinant of success. Every experienced teacher has stories about clever kids who left school without the qualifications that less talented peers achieved, and college professors know that sometimes the most intelligent students are also the laziest. In recent years, psychologists studying differences in educational achievement have been paying more attention to the question of non-cognitive traits, by which they mean something like personality, or character. It’s now recognized that the attitude students take toward the learning process and the habits they practice have a bigger impact on how well they do in school than previously accounted for. This effect becomes more pronounced at more advanced levels of education, as differences in intellectual capacity flatten out. A longitudinal study of elite British students found that personality traits account for four times as much variance in test results as intelligence.
So which personality traits are important? The trait that has gained the most attention from researchers is conscientiousness and its related qualities: persistence, self-discipline, and what the psychologist Angela Duckworth termed “grit” – the ability to deal with failure, overcome setbacks, and focus on long-term goals. This group of attitudes is consistently correlated with high achievement.
Yes-but who looks for this-really
- Rabbi Mordechai I. Willig -Agunot Shaylot #2
There are more divorces and less community cohesion/organization today so there are more Agunah problems. Main reason is more $ in the community today! Provides background on the support (and lack thereof) for prenup and analysis of technical issues.
- Rabbi Michael Rosensweig -Teshuva Me’Ahava and Talmud Torah
Warm and fuzzy preshiur meal (?) schmooze (oh, how the old home seems to have changed, but then again, I wasn’t really “mindful” when I was there). To develop ahava (love) of HKB”H, to turn zdonot (purposeful sin) into positive, you need mitzvoth but especially Torah learning. Shiur is a “band of brothers” (ok – I made that up but really, “Nothing you can do but you can learn…..it’s easy……all you need is love, love, love is all you need”.)
- Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Tefillin 34-2
Rashi and Rabbeinu tam Tfillin – blessings and when to put them on.
- Rabbi Chaim Ilson -Taryag Mitzvos – were they all given to Moshe Rabeinu at Har Sinai?
Understanding the positions of the Rambam and Ramban on what exactly (mitzvoth, TSBP, stories…) Moshe got (based on text in Torah).
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz –Ten Minute Halacha – Shomer for a Chassan and Kallah
The real shmira (guarding) for the Chatan and Kallah is after the wedding up through the end of sheva brachot (R’HS is OK with the Chatan going to shul even though they won’t say tchanun).
Shmira on the day of the wedding is more to prevent yichud (being alone) between the Chatan and Kallah but it can also help keep the railroad running at the wedding. It’s unclear why no tachanun is said when the “Chatan” (not yet married) is in shul on day of wedding [me – how about why heicha kedusha is often said at mincha at the wedding – but you know that’s one of my idiosyncrasies].
- Rabbi Chaim Ilson -Rodeif – Mishamayim kah radfi lah
Detailed analysis of Rodef (pursuer) as it applies to adults, children, bnai noach and bnai brit. What role does intent play?
- Rabbi Eliakim Koenigsberg -Hilchos Tefilla #3 – Zmanei Shacharis 2; Zmanei Mincha
Are the blessings of kriat shma really a part of the mitzvah of kriat shma or prayer – a practical difference would be which time limitations apply? Is the ability to pray after the time limit considered an after the fact allowance or is it tashlumin (make up)? Some halachic differences based on this issue.
Can you daven mincha after 6 hours (rather than 6-1/2) in a pinch? Is the ½ hour a halachic hour or a plain one?
- Rabbi Isaac Rice -Covering the head with a talis
Review of a number of different opinions on when one (and who – e.g. Shaliach tzibbur, others) needs to cover their head (and must it be with a tallit) during prayer. Answers range from not at all to all through the entire service – surprise! R’YBS’s position was for all devarim shbkidusha (Kaddish, Barchu…) except perhaps kriat shma (latter based on a medrash).
- רב אשר וייס: דרש לכי תצא- רבי נחמן מברסלב
Just like an owner of a lost object, HKB”H will always be looking for us – we should have signs or witnesses to help him find us (e.g. brit).
- Rabbi Shmuel Fuerst-Hilchos Tzedka Part 1:
Is there pidyon shvuyim (redeeming captives) in countries (like U.S.) where “captivity” (jail) doesn’t include threat to life? (me – some disagree about this in the U.S.). What if “I was framed”? Where does pidyon shvuyim stand on the charity priority scale? (poor sound quality)
- Rabbi Azarya Berzon -Parshat Ki Teitzei: the prohibition against imprecise scales and measures
Discussion of the severity of violating the prohibition of inaccurate weights and measures (just having them, let alone using them). How does this impact everyday items in the home? (e.g. baby scales).
- Reuven Berman -דין אין הציבור מתים
Technical discussion of communal sacrifices – Tzibbur (community) is greater than the sum of its parts. Includes some practical applications of this differentiation.
- Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Tefillin 34-1
Placement of parshiyot in the tfillin and the order of their writing. Issues with regard to baal tosif (don’t add) and Rabbeinu Tam Tfillin.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Ten Minute Halacha – Beracha on Water
Water (not other liquids) can be a tricky bracha situation (since other liquids have taste and nourish, you’ll almost always make a bracha). If you are drinking water to not choke or to take meds, there’s no bracha; other situations (e.g. pure hydration) are less clear.
- Ari Mirzoeff -Interesting Shailos With Rav Zilberstein: Must Students Object to Their Teacher’s Heresy?
If you’re in secular science class taught by a ben brit, do you have to point out heretical statements he makes? No. Tochacha (admonition) only applies to frum people and not in such unequal power situations.
- Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff -Jewish History #1 – “Yeshiva and Yeshiva College – 1941” 9-8-2014 Speaker:
R’B.Revel, R’S Shkop, R’M Soloveitchik, R’JB Soloveitchik, R’J Lookstein….history and the various candidates to replace R’Revel.
- Rabbi Tzvi Sinensky -Introduction to Medieval Jewish History
Introductory class outlining Jewish history from the time of the Gaonim through the middle ages.
- Mrs. C.B. Neugroschl -Rabbi Akiva: Master Teacher and Master Student
From stories in the Talmud we can see R’Akiva’s as a living example of the power of transition – “We can change”.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter -Shemitta Nowadays
Quick review of current shmita (sabbatical year) rules:
• Torah or Rabbinic in nature?
• Heter mechirah – detailed analysis
• Dispose of leftovers thoughtfully (not in regular garbage) even through if heter mechirah works this shouldn’t be necessary
• There’s no lfnai Iver (placing a stumbling block) assisting someone to do something you wouldn’t do but they have an authority to rely on to do it
• Description of how otzer beit din (only paying for allowable work) should work
Pruzbol (loan cancellations) quick summary
- Rav yisroel reisman: parsha ki seitzei 5774
• Torah prohibited us from marrying into certain nations – also applies to those who develop those nations’ character traits
• Some words are usually written maleih (with vav) – when they are written chaser (without vav) in this context it means “a little less”
We have kidushin and nesuin because kiddushin is an act of acquisition (kinyan) whereas nesuin is establishing a reality/condition of marriage
- Rabbi Jesse Horn -Creating an Environment to ensure our Commitment and that of our Children
Being happy comes from living a purposeful, truthful life.
- Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Ten Minute Halacha – Daled Minim in Shemitah
Shmita rules as applied to Etreg, Lulav, Aravot and Hadasim
- Rabbi Mordechai I. Willig -Modern Gerus Controversy
Review of R’Moshe’s tshuvot on conversion and application today to the U.S. and Israeli scene. Includes FSU and Tzahal converts as well as questioning old conversions of “then acceptable” beit din. Sounds like you need an actuary to estimate likelihood of future observance by a convert based on current commitments.
- Rabbi Yitzchok Cohen-Chizzuk LeTorah
Giving chizuk with the word chazak – repetition and hard work are key.
- Rabbi Dovid Lovy -Intro to Mesilas Yesharim – Part 1
You need a long-term plan and know where you want to go. What is our purpose in life?
- Rabbi Efrem Goldberg -“Art of the Shiva Call”
A pastoral approach to comforting mourners – the goal is a therapeutic one for the mourners. Practical tips provided.
- Jonathan Ziring-Lo Nitnah Torah L’Malachei HaSharet
Talmudic sources of lo nitnah (the Torah wasn’t given to angels) plus later application. Does it mean that somethings are very hard and thus don’t need to be done? R’Ziring proposes it means things definitional to being human (we don’t have microscopic eyes) with exceptions (he looks dead isn’t good enough for a death certificate).
- Soul Beliefs: Causes and Consequences–by Prof. Daniel M. Ogilvie, Prof. Leonard W. Hamilton-part 1
History of this course. People seem to believe in the existence of the soul even though new Atheists seem persuasive. Doesn’t sound too impressed with religion! Will be hearing from psychologists, philosophers, etc.
- Soul Beliefs: Causes and Consequences–by Prof. Daniel M. Ogilvie, Prof. Leonard W. Hamilton-part 2
People want to believe they understand things so they can move on. That’s why “belief” began. Sounds like he’s also not too impressed with religion and that science will explain the mind/body issue.
Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].